Unlike the other social media outlets we’ve discussed, LinkedIn is designed for professionals to connect with other professionals. That means a host of built-in features specifically intended to help you showcase your talents and your company while connecting with colleagues, potential clients and referral sources.
LinkedIn is far too robust to cover in detail in a single blog post, but if you’re not yet using it to promote your business it’s worth your time to take a look. Here are some of the ways LinkedIn marketing helps you to reach your market and otherwise build your business:
Your personal LinkedIn profile is much more professionally robust than those on other social networks.
The basic format is similar to a resume, with space for a summary, current and past employment, education and skills. Your connections can recommend you and those recommendations are (with your approval) posted to your profile. Connections can also endorse you for specific skills. That can be a powerful advantage when you’re in a service industry and prospective clients looking at your LinkedIn profile see that numerous connections have endorsed your skills at the very tasks you can assist them with.
Company pages allow you to spotlight your products and services.
In addition to the typical company overview and the ability to graphically brand your page, your LinkedIn company profile offers a place to describe your key products and services. Then, your past and current clients can post recommendations for that specific item. The built-in statistics provide not just numbers but insights into such demographics as the seniority, industry and company size of those checking out your company page.
LinkedIn Groups help you connect with prospects and colleagues.
There are more than 1.2 million English language Groups on LinkedIn and tens of thousands in each of several other languages, including French. The vast majority are industry-focused. Searching Groups for keywords related to your products and services will help you find communities in which people are discussing your areas of expertise. People join Groups for a variety of reasons. For example, in a Group dedicated to small law firm marketing, you’ll likely find attorneys looking for marketing solutions, marketing professionals, law firm administrators and others with an interest in the topic.
While you can’t directly market through most Groups, these communities offer an opportunity to establish your expertise, answer questions and become a familiar and trusted source for prospective clients.
LinkedIn advertising is highly targeted to your market.
The pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on LinkedIn works very much like other PPC programs in set-up and bidding. However, because of the site’s business focus and the amount of professional information that most active users have provided, your advertising can be targeted much more specifically. You can select your market based on job title, geography, education, age, gender, group membership or skills. Or, you can target a specific company or category of companies. You can test out LinkedIn advertising with a budget as low as $10 per day and turn it on and off instantly.
Of course, one key advantage of LinkedIn marketing is that all of these different opportunities can work hand-in-hand. The company page lists employees on LinkedIn, which allows a prospective customer to click through and see the skills and endorsements that person has received. Becoming a familiar face and source of solid information in Groups means members are more likely to click on your ads when they appear. Taking advantage of multiple LinkedIn marketing opportunities can create a much more powerful impact than any individual path might alone.